How did we survive without smartphones?

How did we survive without smartphones?

An in-depth look at how we all survived without smartphones


Rising popularity of phones:

Ask anyone under the age of 20 if they can remember a time without mobile phones. Chances are that they can't. That's because since the late 90's mobile phones have dominated human lives. Before that, the 'brick-like' phones were all the range and they didn't have the internet or data. Texting was also not a possibility. Meaning that most communication was done in person face-to-face. It was also very uncommon for people to sleep next to their phones. Unlike today, where almost every interaction business or personal is done via smartphone. If you don't think that's true, try performing daily tasks without a smartphone for 24- hours. Mission impossible right? Or at least it's less convenient.

Since 1994, with the first smartphone IBM Simon, smartphones have proved themselves invaluable. This is mainly because of their ability to save time and energy. From basic tasks like creating shopping lists to performing skype interviews, smartphones can do it all. Here, are some quick facts about smartphones.

  • It is estimated that around 2.1 billion people in the world own a smartphone
  • 51% of adults in the US use smartphones for shopping
  • Samsung sold the most smartphones in 2017
  • The number of smartphones shipped in China in 2017 is 459 million

The most popular smartphone uses

Functioning as more than just a phone, many smartphones are practically mini-laptops. This is partly due to the number of apps (applications) available. No matter what you want to do there is pretty much a smartphone app that can perform that task.

  • Booking a holiday

Remember travel agents? No, neither do we, but before smartphones, people used travel agents to book their holidays. Travel agents were usually stationed in shopping malls and high streets. Here, people would be able to look at the travel agent's catalogue of offers. Similar to any catalogue it contained photos and basic information for tourist destinations. Sadly, destinations were limited to the places, where that travel agent had deals. Meaning, that in order to compare offers there was a bit of legwork involved. This was because people would have to write down the offers and visit multiple agents. Travel agents also only usually worked from 9-5, which created busy lunch and weekend periods.

Thankfully, now there are smartphones. Booking a holiday can be done round the clock from the comfort of your own home. Hotel and flight comparison sites also make it much easier to find great deals. Many sites even offer excursion or sightseeing tours as extras for many holiday destinations. Data shows that around 65% of all flights and hotels are now booked via smartphones. So long travel agents.

Online Banking

Before online banking, there was just plain old banking. There were no banking apps and internet banking was not a thing. When people wanted to transfer money, they had to do bank or wire transfers. This involved going into the bank and filling in a transfer form. Once sorted, the transfer could take up to a week to go through.

Nowadays, as many people know money transfers can be done with a few clicks. Many apps and payment methods like iDebit can even act like wallets. Well e-wallets, this is because they can connect to your bank account. This means that if you want to make or receive payments you can use it. It's quick and easy to use and there are no hidden fees. Unlike with traditional transfers where a percentage of the money can be taken as a fee.

The News

Whilst the feel of newspaper can't be replicated by a smartphone, the news itself can. Every day 100's of people log-on to popular news sites. The majority of this happens during work commutes where people are looking to kill time. Of course, some people still prefer to buy a newspaper, but this is time-consuming. Especially, if you're in a busy newsagent and don't have the exact change ready. There, is also the added chance you will end up buying other items.

According to, 85% of US adults read the news on mobile phones. This is a variety of news from political, sports, financial, and entertainment. To find a newspaper with all of these sections and more would mean a pretty bulky newspaper. Which on a crowded bus or underground is not really ideal? Having access to all of these news items all one screen is pretty handy. Also as we all know the news updates by the minute, which websites and apps can facilitate. This is why many newspapers offer both morning and evening editions. Which for environmentalists means double the waste.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

While parts of the U.S. are beginning to re-open after months in quarantine, the future of date nights at home is still bright — because, let's face it, wearing masks to a fancy restaurant with your boo in the coming months just doesn't sound fun.

So, if you're looking to have a little romantic fun indoors, we've got just the games for you. Click through the slideshow below for 11 couples games that'll help you two become closer than ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been interested in any product that can get me the Jennifer Lopez-esque natural glow. I'm Indian and have medium-toned skin, so getting darker was never really the goal. Rather, I've always looked for a product that would even out my skin tone and cellulite, basically making my legs look Photoshopped.

Now more than ever we're craving that healthy, tan glow most of us only get after spending a week poolside with margarita in hand. We may not be spending an SPF-soaked summer hitting on our local lifeguards. But when we're going on socially-distanced walks outside, taking viral-worthy selfies, or just want to test out the best self-tanners for when you do finally get to show off all the bikinis you binge-purchased through your quarantine boredom, these are the best to ways to glow up, no matter your shade of skin, whether you have uber-sensitive eczema-ridden skin, or just want J-Lo glow, smooth legs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Quarantine Checkup Week 10: It's Officially Summer, Even In Quarantine

An Odyssey panel discussion about all things quarantine.

Thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the United States has gone into its own version of quarantine. While no one loves this new way of life we're adjusting to, it's the necessity that will eventually help us fling open our front doors and frolic freely once again!

Premature thinking? Maybe. But while we're in the midst of this quarantine time, we're chatting about the most terrifying, the funniest, and the weirdest thing that quarantine has forced us into recently.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only did she launch her beauty marketing career at legendary Smashbox Cosmetics, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments